Italy’s right-wing parties swept Sunday’s election, with Giorgia Meloni likely to assume office as Italy’s first female prime minister.
Italy’s right-wing parties swept Sunday’s election. Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy Party finished first and Meloni will likely become Italy’s first female prime minister.
- Meloni’s party won 26% of the parliamentary vote. Her center-right coalition finished with 44%, far outstripping the center-left’s 26% and the populist 5-Star Movement’s dismal 15% of the vote.
- Giorgia Meloni catapulted into national prominence with a 2019 speech where she declared, “I am Giorgia, I am a woman, I am a mother, I am Italian, I am a Christian, and you can’t take that away from me.”
- The right-wing coalition won a clear majority of seats in parliament and will be Italy’s most conservative government since World War II. Meloni pledged to support NATO policy in Ukraine, keep Europe’s third largest economy in the Eurozone and confront the country’s mounting national debt.
- The Brothers of Italy party has roots in the Italian Social Movement, a small postwar party founded by a former aide to Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
- Meloni has disavowed fascism, but her party’s so-called “neo-fascist roots” have been a frequent topic of international media, although the party’s history appears “to be of more concern abroad than at home.”
- The New York Times noted Meloni spent her campaign reassuring an international audience eager to highlight her party’s early history with her support for Ukraine, condemnations of Mussolini, and support for Italy’s place in the European Union.
- CNN covered Meloni’s policy stances. The likely next Italian leader is “deeply conservative,” opposed to illegal immigration, pledged to fight the “LGBT lobby” and called abortion a “tragedy.”
- The Guardian noted Enrico Letta, leader of Italy’s center-left Democratic Party, plans to resign after his resounding defeat at the polls. Letta called Meloni’s victory “a sad day for Italy and Europe.”
- The Wall Street Journal profiled Italy’s likely new leader, writing Meloni is “on course to achieve something that has mostly eluded Europe’s far-right: repositioning herself as a conservative whom her country’s political establishment, and its Western allies, don’t need to fear.”
- Fox News noted assembling a governing coalition could take weeks and Italy’s last three governments were all coalitions headed by someone who hadn’t actually run for office.
- The Telegraph reported Meloni pledged to make Italians “proud to be Italian again” and her supporters said her victory delivered “a lesson in humility” to the European Union.
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© Dominic Moore, 2022